In any great superhero story, a main character often needs help to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way. For that reason, the multitude of children dressed as their favorite comic book characters was deeply fitting during Kid’s Day on Marine Corps Air Station New River. The Landing on MCAS New River served as the backdrop to a day of fun that was full of useful information for families.
Beneath the guise of a carnival atmosphere, complete with free performances, games, inflatables and even a few pies to the face, kids and parents were given a chance to blow off some steam while getting important information about the upcoming school year from community resources.
“Our mission is just for theses kids and parents to have a fun, inexpensive back to school event,” said Michelle Wilson, Tarawa Terrace Community Center manager and supervisory recreation specialist with Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune-New River. “We want to have kids going back with the right mindset and a fun memory to wrap up the summer.”
Marines across the installations were on hand as volunteers. Some handled the logistics of crafts and other activities while others got to put on a different kind of uniform for a day. Lance Cpl. Jacques Romain, chemical, biological, radialogical and nuclear defense specialist, put on the cape and cowl of Batman to take photos with kids. Pfc. Jemermy Whiting, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, got to act as Superman for a day.
Crafts were based around the concept of thinking critically in a fun, low pressure way.
“You get to communicate and connect with the kids,” said Lance Cpl. Lauren Soria, 2nd Supply Ammo Co. “We don’t usually work with kids so it’s a nice change of pace. It makes you feel good for helping out too.”
Cpl. Devin Caldwell, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167, was in a booth where children had a chance to pie him in the face in exchange for school supplies. Among the many eager participants was Curtis Ebitz, son of Col. Curtis V. Ebitz, commanding officer for MCAS Air Station New River and Col. Amy Ebitz, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Col. Curtis Ebitz found the event to be an important one for the installation, which he assumed command of in July.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and get in the back to school mentality” Col. Ebitz said. “It’s fun for us all.”
Ebitz also showed off his muscles alongside kids at the Exceptional Family Member Program’s booth featuring a cardboard barbell.
For 20 lucky kids, raffles throughout the day provided them with free backpacks full of school supplies to get them started in the new year. A bag was also set aside for the winner of the day’s costume contest.
The next major event leading up to school’s resumption will be the Back to the Books Bash at Marston Pavilion on Aug. 17. For more information visit https://www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/schools.